Mariners go top as Alou Kuol seals win at Sydney FC

Sydney FC will be contemplating an SOS for Bobo after failure to fire in front of goals cost them dearly in a 2-0 A-League loss to Central Coast.

The Mariners continued their best start since the title-winning season of 2007-08, but for all their pluck at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, it was the Sky Blues' game to lose for long periods of the match.

The two-time defending premiers had a bevy of chances, particularly in the first half, but on a balmy Sydney night they remained decidedly cool on their final touch.

Central Coast then took full advantage in the second half. Sliding to stop a dangerous 55th minute ball in the box by Mariners forward Daniel Bouman, Sydney defender Ben Warland got too much weight on the block which rolled in for the opening goal.

The visitors made it 2-0 in the 74th minute when Jordan Smylie's deflected shot found the feet of Alou Kuol who duly pumped the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

Alou Kuol celebrates after scoring Sydney FC's second goal
Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Sydney were left to rue 10 missed shots on goal in the first 45 minutes and will no doubt be easing talismanic Bobo into the side as soon as practicable. The 36-year-old striker, who scored over 50 goals in two successful seasons for Sydney, was re-signed after the departure of Englishman Adam Le Fondre. He is in Sydney is and expected to be available in the next week or two.

Kosta Barbarouses, who hasn't scored in regular play for Sydney since March 2020, was as guilty as anyone on Friday night and was eventually replaced in the 75th minute.

Anthony Caceres and Ryan Grant also had gilt-edged chances for the home side but were denied by Mariners 'keeper Mark Birighitti, who had a splendid night between the sticks.

The chances dried up for the Sky Blues in the second half, the Mariners ultimately recording their first away win against Sydney in seven years as they moved to three victories in four games for the season.